Sunday, July 8, 2007

Blueberry Pickin'

Friday night the girls and I ventured out to a nearby farm to pick blueberries. I warned everyone that they needed to go to the bathroom before we left. Did they? Of course not. We weren't there for 10 minutes before the "I have to PEE" whining started. I told them if they concentrated on finding the biggest, bluest berries it would help take their mind off their ordeal. PDQ said I was right it helped. Finally about 4 pounds of berries later I couldn't take it any more. As we drove the circuitous route back through the farm fields I spotted a port-a-potty. (Of course it was on the other side of the blueberry bushes if only I'd known we could have walked down the row and been there). We stopped, PDQ went first, was in the outhouse 5 seconds before she declared she didn't have to go any more. I reminded her of the previous half hour and she relented, I told her to hold her nose if she had to but she. was. going. They both managed to go, although there were lots of questions about the blue water and the smell and the urinal cakes.
After we got home I whipped up my favorite blueberry recipe, a lemon, blueberry pound cake that I got from Cooking Light. It is light and wonderful. It calls for a bundt pan but I generally make it in two loaf pans, one to eat, one to share or freeze. I also like to add a little lemon zest to the cake and the glaze (you have to squeeze the lemons anyway, might as well use them all!).

Blueberry Pound Cake (from Cooking Light)

2 c granulated sugar
½ c light butter
½ block light cream cheese softened (4 oz cc)
3 large eggs
1 large egg white
3 c all purpose flour divided
2 c fresh or frozen blueberries
1 t baking powder
½ t baking soda
½ t salt
1 8oz carton low-fat lemon yogurt
2 t vanilla extract
cooking spray
1 c powdered sugar
4 t lemon juice (about the juice of 1 lemon)

Preheat oven to 350F
Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes).
Add eggs and egg white, 1 at a time beating well after each addition. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.
Combine 2 T flour with blueberries in a small bowl and mix well.
Combine remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to sugar mix alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Fold in blueberry mixture and vanilla; pour cake batter into a 10-inch tube pan coated with cooking spray (I use two loaf pans instead and it turns out well and there is one to freeze!)
Bake at 350F for 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. (For the loaf pans I usually set the timer for 50 minutes and start checking, for the convection oven I go with 325F)
Cool cake in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan. Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice in small bowl, drizzle over warm cake.

Yesterday I tackled blueberry freezer jam for the first time. I was glad to see that it was setting up well last night and can't wait to taste. I think it will be a nice change from strawberry during the long winter. I am reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Its really opened my eyes to the impact of eating more locally grown food so I am trying to do my part. We'll be out at the farm picking more fruits and veggies as well as hitting the local farmers markets. Not only does it reduce the fossil fuels needed to get our food to us, it just tastes better! The book is just generally a good read and I'd recommend it for anyone who even dreams of having their own little plot of land--the family commits to getting all their food from local sources for a year.


joansy said...

Mmm - that sounds great.
I'm with you on the eating local produce. It's tough in Las Vegas, but we've found a Community Supported Agriculture program and we're buying a share in this fall's crop. I'll definitely check out the book.

g-man said...

HA! you took a picture of an outhouse! I guess I'm not the only one :) SHMILY!

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

Yum, stealing the recipe!

Tree said...

I am glad you are enjoying the book! I need to get my hands on a copy.

The blueberry pound cake recipe looks awesome! Would it be too tough for a novice like me?

How did the freezer jam work out?